Eating outdoors is a great way to enjoy Toronto's green spaces, but with picnics often comes plastic forks, disposable cups and napkins.
How can we make sure that our time enjoying nature isn't harming the environment?
The good news is that there are plenty of simple ways to have a waste-free feast this summer!
Reduce: Avoid waste and disposables in the first place: choose reusable dishes and cups for your outdoor feast. Lightweight plastic dishes are easy to find and can be used again and again. You can find vintage picnic sets or just simple dishes at your local second-hand store! If you're having a potluck, ask each person to bring their own dishes along with the food they bring.
Reuse: Forget the bottled water and carry refillable water bottles to fill up at City drinking fountains.
Recycle: If you find yourself with disposable plastic or styrofoam dishes, cups or cutlery in your hand, you'll be happy to know they can be recycled in Toronto's Blue Bins at home or in local parks. Remember to wipe the food residue off first, to reduce contamination.
Paper plates can be recycled, but if they've got food or grease on them, bring them home for the green bin.
Compost: When the feast is done, remember food scraps can be composted - carry home the organic food waste, napkins and paper plates for your green bin or home composter.
Together we can create a waste free future of summer picnics and beautiful litter-free City parks!
Share your waste free picnic story on TEA's Waste Free Challenge #5 - Choose to Re-use - you'll be on your way to great prizes!